FULTON – Fulton residents and city officials packed the Municipal Building community room last night, Thursday, Nov. 7, to provide their input and ideas for what they would like to see happen with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant.
Co-Chairs of the Local Planning Committee Michael Treadwell and Donald Patrick Jr. began the first public input session.
Treadwell said the DRI committee who put in the application four years in a row and Mayor Ronald Woodward, who pushed for Fulton to get the DRI, should be congratulated for their work and the payoff of the $10 million grant. He also recognized the LPC members in the room and Mayor-Elect Deana Michaels.
“It’s the LPC members who are the architect of the Strategic Investment Plan, which will ultimately be the end product of this DRI initiative,” said Kevin McAndrew, a partner with Cameron Engineering, the lead consultant for the DRI.
The project manager from Cameron Engineering Sarah Oral and Dave Tepper, senior land planner, also joined McAndrew to talk with residents. McAndrew also recognized the state planning team including Julie Sweet and Patricia O’Reilly.
“It takes a lot of expertise and a lot of support to work with the community,” McAndrew said. “Transformative change and building on your application starts with public participation.”
McAndrew said the team spent the afternoon speaking with high school students to get their input on the DRI and is looking to reach out to other groups of people throughout Fulton to see everyone’s perspective.
In reviewing an overview of the DRI, McAndrew stressed the importance of a diverse range of projects and that the state will ultimately make the final decision for which projects will be chosen.
McAndrew said in order to attain the state’s overarching goals to see a vibrant downtown destination, there must be a mix of businesses, retail, entertainment, arts, dining and services, which would also create jobs and more reasons for people to visit Fulton.
Those who attended the input session were able to place sticky notes on information boards with ideas or comments and leave a more detailed iteration of their input in comment forms to be turned in.
The team looked for residents’ feedback on the vision statement, needs, opportunities and goals, and the potential projects that were detailed in the initial application.
“We’re taking your input and putting it together in a productive way to have a cohesive plan that the state can use to decide which projects ultimately get funded,” Oral said.
Some suggestions placed on the information boards included a movie theater, restoring historical buildings and bringing in more businesses.
All materials, including the slide show presentation, the information boards and the input the public turned in will be made available on the new Fulton DRI website. Meeting times and other information will be available on the site throughout the duration of the DRI.
The next LPC meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 21 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building community room.